Wednesday, May 18, 2011

G.E.D. Soul Lands a One, Two Punch with Magic in Threes

Magic in Threes - Self-titled

Classic vintage sound, unmatchable swagger, the definition of cool: these are just a few of the phrases that come to mind while trying to find words that would adequately describe the sonic succulence that is the Magic in Threes. I for one couldn't be happier to know that somewhere in Nashville, TN the guys of G.E.D. Soul records are busy cooking up the newest thing that never got written about 30 or 40 years ago.

As a fan of the vintage production movement from the likes of the New Mastersounds and Dr. Dog, it didn't take long for me to fall deep into the pocket of the groove that Magic in Threes cuts on their debut self-titled album. G.E.D. Soul is not only a purveyor of vintage sound production but also vintage manufacturing. As the physical medium for music is becoming more and more an endangered species, emboldened labels like G.E.D. Soul are side-stepping the modern paradigm for music distribution and taking it back to a medium where sound quality is king. You will find many of the G.E.D. Soul releases available on vinyl 45s or LPs. Check the G.E.D. Soul Records store here at to browse the releases on vinyl, CD, or Mp3 from other funky label mates SkyHi, DeRoberts and the Half-Truths and the Coolin' System.

Magic in Threes takes no time to instill the groove from the first beat of their "Intro" through the fades into "Nick's Theme" and "Neal's Lament" where the laid-back hypnotic brand of funk continues with a subtle yet expressive solo on the rhodes stage piano.

The following track "Its Good to Be The King" is aptly named. Listening to this deep funk cut makes me want to ride in a drop top Cadillac DeVille from the '60s while tripping on acid and watching the trails of the streetlights pass by me like a some magic fireflies. "Breakin' the Beats" is another track with an unmistakable cinematic feel and you will find the effect further enhanced if you watch the video for "Mesothelioma" on the G.E.D. YouTube channel. The solid rhythm of this track stays true to sound we've heard so far on Magic In Threes, but the addition of the squeaky, slowly decaying synth tweaks the composition to another place.

The depths of the human mind must be no stranger to these composers. The psychedelic, almost slow-motion inducing feel of this album is never felt stronger than on "Pushin' Off." The melancholy slides of the melody played on the rhodes transmit the gritty angst of a dope addict while still managing to keep your head nodding. Its a disconcerting juxtaposition that Magic in Threes creates while emersing you into the sonic equivalent of an opium den while still somehow instilling the need to gyrate like you are at an Earth, Wind and Fire show.

The final track, "Trinity Way" helps us shake the sense of disconcertion like a dunk in a cold bath as the horn section swings us back into a composition that will simply make you want to strut down your nearest city block.

There is no doubt that Magic in Threes is a very passive listening experience. Even in the mode of active listening, you may find these tunes slipping into the background of your mind. Although this music is not aggressive in its execution, it is successful in presenting its vision. The debut self-titled from Magic in Threes is truly a listening experience worthy of the album format. This is not just a collection of songs. The playlist flows almost cinematically through the intro, themes and laments, and multiple interludes, but these are just stops along the way. The meat and potatoes of this album comes from Nick DeVan's and Dave Singleton's spot-on compositions and arrangements. As the musical architects behind Magic in Three's enchanting sound, Nick and Dave eloquently translate their vision to the forefront of the production in their numerous performances on drums, percussion, organ, synth, and more. The atmosphere of these 10 tracks is further cultivated by the engineers' commitment to authentic vintage sound. All in all, Magic in Threes is a real class act.

Check it out for yourself below.

1 comment: